Layla and Jude hold down the couch
Djuru #12 in the soft grass overlooking the Columbia River
Technically, Autumn doesn't start for about three weeks, but for me, summer ends around my birthday. We try each year to go out on our birthdays -- my wife's is a couple days before mine -- and enjoy a relaxed day or two. Which we did. A little campground in the Gorge, almost nobody there because we stayed over Monday. Lotsa green, balmy weather, water, mountains, and a sunset with a dash of forest-fire smoke the first day that gave us a drop-dead gorgeous gold and orange sunset and a three-quarters moon that rose over the mountains behind us.
Doesn't get much better than that.
The perfect vacation: Lie around, read, walk the dogs, play the guitar, do djurus -- or yoga -- eat when we get hungry, take naps, sleep when we get tired of taking naps ... My son lent us a DVD player we could hook to our old non-digital-won't-receive-anymore-TV in the camper, but we never used it. Watching the sun go down and sitting in the quiet dark talking was more interesting.
What was really fun? A car pulled in late yesterday afternoon. Had the windows all newlywed- painted. Sure enough, a young couple emerged, set up a tent and stuff all over the picnic bench, then drove off, presumably for dinner in the nearby town.
How cute, we thought.
You know how modern dome tents are made? Usually the roof is mostly net, and there is a rain cover over that, so that the moisture from your breathing and perspiration can escape, and doesn't collect on the tent walls and run down and soak into your sleeping bag. That was a problem back in the old canvas pup-tent days if you buttoned 'em up tight.
No rain forecast, so the couple didn't put the outer cover up. Sleeping under the stars, net would keep the bugs out, how romantic is that?
About six a.m. this morning, it started to rain. Came down pretty good for about half an hour. It's a comforting sound on the fiberglas roof of your cab-over camper.
Probably not so comforting if you are in a tent sans rain flap ...
Later, when we were having coffee, we opened the front curtains of the truck and noticed that the young couple had moved into their car. As we watched, the door opened and the bride stepped out and began throwing stuff from the car onto the ground: Sleeping bag, pillow, clothes, like that. Stuff looked, um, damp.
The bride's demeanor was -- how shall we say? -- royally pissed-off. She was talking to the groom, who was in the driver's seat, and while we couldn't hear what was said, the body language was somewhat less than newlywed lovey-dovey. She got back into the front of the car, back to her new groom, and if facial expressions could kill, the poor man would have been dust in the wind. Lips thinned and white, and biting off her words, the bride spoke ...
Dianne and I supplied the bride's half of the conversation: "Let's go camping, you said. It will be romantic, you said. It's going to be warm and terrific, you said. We'll always remember it, you said ... "
Offhand, I would guess this would not be a good omen for a new marriage, to get into a fight on your honeymoon.
Of course, being a writer, I turned that one. They weren't newlyweds at all. They were bank robbers. Who would suspect a car all painted up with "Just Married!" graffiti of being a getaway vehicle ... ?
Might get in another summer trip if we time it right -- Labor Day Weekend will be too crowded to drive, and campgrounds all booked up, but fore or aft a day makes all the difference. Maybe we can find some more newlywed entertainment.
After that, fall and winter camping, of course, but it's a different experience in Oregon and Washington. Cold and rain don't make for djurus in the warm grass ...